Local fishermen finding several hot spots

The fishing has been good to great, but you may have to do a little traveling to get to the hot spots.

Those readers who have been following the progress of the AMARA-CAN walleye Classic, which took place this past weekend, were informed the place to fish for walleye is either north by the Canadian border or east towards Sturgeon Point.

That fishery continues to offer the best bet for size and numbers of walleye. Numerous anglers have reported marking fish from top to bottom but in this heat, anglers have been targeting the top 20-30 feet of water for actively feeding fish. Once they are done feeding, they sink towards the lower depths which are cooler, where they go into a neutral or negative feeding mood. In addition, anglers are reporting lots of smelt and bait so the fish have plenty of choices to feed on. Turning up the trolling speed, trolling in an S pattern or popping a bait off the down riggers can provoke a positive reaction. Once you find what works, repeat it or match it.

Skip, my buddy from Hogan’s Hut on Chautauqua Lake, reports anglers continue to do well on the walleye with incidental fish being picked up by anglers targeting perch or bass. The anglers are fishing the pockets in weed beds or along the weed edge. Salmo baits are designed for muskies, but walleye and bass fishermen have noticed that the bait also appeals to their target species. Bluegills have been a pleasant surprize for Chautauqua Lake fishermen all season, with 9-11-inch bluegills consistently being taken from Warners Bar, Dewittville Bay and off Mayville in shallow water. Shore acres has been a walleye hot spot. Muskie fishing has been slow. Anglers fishing those open pockets in the weeds have been using rapalas, shorty Hopkins spoons and blade baits. Skip says it has been 92 degrees on the water lately and many find it too hot to fish.

Yellow perch locally have been hard to get. This angler, as well as reports from some veteran perch fishermen, indicate the perch haven’t been hitting. On Sunday, equipped with two buckets of live emerald shiners, my crew went from 40 to 65 feet of water and marked lots of fish at 65 feet, but we only caught one big perch. Several of the walleye contest committee men fished in 54 feet on Saturday and boated 59 perch. On Sunday, they found none.

Rick Miller in Irving reports the perch fishermen have found the perch in 25 to 35 feet of water for the past several days. Also, the DEC creel census personal got reports of big active silver bass schooling near the surface off the Cat. Lee Weber from Derby reports perch fishermen have been doing well in 50-plus feet of water out of Sturgeon Point.

The Buffalo Small Boat Harbor and by the Windmills continues to be the walleye hot spot this summer. Target the red bell buoy and set up in 42 feet of water just past it. Target the bottom 30-35 feet of water with down riggers, bottom bouncers, slide divers or side planners and expect lots of fish.

Steve Stenberg reported taking Jessica Naples and her children Dylan and Thomas, fishing at Cattaraugus Creek on July 11 in the evening, and together, they caught 16 catfish ranging in size from 19 inches to over three-feet long.

The Chautauqua County Fair is coming next week with lots of fun for everyone. Check out the Conservation Building and see what they have to offer. Stop by and trade fishing and hunting stories with us and maybe you will win a lifetime fishing/hunting license for a youngster you know.


The Southtowns Walleye Association is hosting its 21st Catch and Release Kids Fishing Derby on Saturday, July 21 at the Tifft Nature Preserve, located on Furman Boulevard, Buffalo. The event is free to all kids 15 years old and younger. Bring your own tackle. Sign-up starts at 7:30 a.m. with the weigh-in from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. A picnic-style lunch, including free hot dogs and goodies, will be served from 11 a.m. until noon. Coffee, milk, donuts and juice will be served from 7:30 a.m. until 10 a.m. All kids receive a grab bag and winners will receive awards starting at noon. For more information, call Dennis at 861-5687 or Doug at 649-8202.

The Southtowns Walleye Association’s monthly meeting will be held on Thursday, July 18 at 7:30 p.m. at their club house, 5895 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg.

The Westfield Fish & Game Club located on Ogden Road Westfield, will host a Hunter Safety Training course (gun). It will start on Monday, Aug. 12, at 7 p.m. and run until 10 p.m. The class will resume on Saturday, Aug. 17 at 9 a.m. and run until 4 p.m. Students must attend both days and be at least 12 years old. For more information, call 326-3218.

The Annual Hunting Expo held at the Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel, located at 777 Seneca Allegany Blvd., Salamanca will be held on Saturday, Sept. 28 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 29 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. For more information, contact Jim Buck at 569-6810 or visit

There will be a Gun Show at the Frewsburg Firemen’s Rec Hall, 25 Hazzard St., Frewsburg on Oct. 26-27. Call 569-6810 for information.

Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to